From the inbox…

You may remember a post I did back in October, prior to the most recent Presidential Election about some cards that I designed and printed in support of the Obama campaign.  You don’t remember that post?  Well then, you can go back and read about it here.  We ended up giving away all of the cards as a result of that posting and today I received a lovely e-mail message from one of the recipients.  She wrote: 

I’m one of the people that you gave an Obama card to back in October and I just wanted to let you know how it ended up. I framed it and gave it to my mom for Christmas.  I was a little nervous about it because it was a good bit smaller in comparison and not made by me as my sisters presents were, but she absolutely loved it.  (She definitely got a little teary eyed.) 
Thank you so much!
She even sent us a picture of the framed card we sent her, which you can see at the top of this post.  Pretty cool, don’t you think?  It’s always great to hear from people who are enjoying your work.  

In case you were wondering, I no longer have any more of the Obama cards from the original printing.  However, because of their popularity, I am considering doing a second printing, which I will post about here, when and if it ends up happening.  It won’t be for a little while, due to the number of different custom jobs for weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs and baby showers/announcements that are currently in the works, but I will definitely keep you posted.  

Thanks so much Caitlan, and I’m so glad you and your mom loved the card!

Don't Divorce…

I work with a lot of people all over the world who are getting married.  These people want to share their life with another person completely.  They want to start families.  They want to be there for each other and support each other through good times and bad.  In my opinion, it is beyond all reason that two individuals who want to be wed and have families should be prevented from doing so.  I think that it’s pretty powerful and very lucky if you believe you’ve found that one person in your life that you want to share everything with and can’t imagine being without.  

Last month, Ken Starr, who led the campaign to impeach former President Bill Clinton in 1998, filed a legal brief on behalf of the “Yes on 8” campaign.  If validated it would forcibly divorce 18,000 same-sex couples that were married in the state of California last year before the passage of Proposition 8 in November.  
The video entitled “Fidelity”: Don’t Divorce… was Courage Campaign’s response to this action.  Courage Campaign is an online organizing network that empowers nearly 400,000+ grassroots activists to push for progressive change in California.  Watch the video, and if it moves you, you can sign their letter to the California Supreme Court asking them to invalidate Prop 8, reject Ken Starr’s case, and allow all loving, committed couples to marry regardless of their sexuality or gender(s).  

Weddings | Valerie & Rebecca

Hello all!  I know I’ve been posting a lot of stuff about Etsy and holiday cards lately and not a lot about custom work, so I thought I would take a break from showing off all of the cool stuff you should go out and buy for the holidays to write about a recent custom job.  Remember how I said a while back that I somewhat hastily completed not one, but three custom jobs and got them sent off to their respective clients right before leaving the country for two weeks to go to Japan? Well, I wrote about the first two of those custom wedding stationary jobs here and here, and this my friends, is the third one.  I saved the post about this job for last, partly because I had a lot more to write about it than the other two, partly because the first round of pictures I took of this stationary didn’t really do it justice and I wanted to take more, and partly because I was struggling with the tiny imp inside me who never *really* wants to write about politics in conjunction with my work, but sometimes just can’t resist anyways.  Remember this post about the Obama cards and voting that I put upright before the election? Yeah, like I said, sometimes it just comes out.

Several months ago, long before the election and Japan and other stuff that’s been going on here lately, I was contacted by a wonderful (and rather talented!) lady named Valerie about creating a wedding set especially for her and her fiancee.  I get contacted fairly frequently about creating custom wedding sets, so initially this job wasn’t all that different from the many others that I’ve written about here.  You see, what makes this job somewhat unique other than the stationary designs themselves (and what gives me political-imp amo) is that Valerie’s love of her life is also a lady.  So, here we go, political rant first, then pictures of pretty stationary.  (If you would rather skip this part because you’re not in the mood for a political rant, or you’re like “Yes, Kristin, we know, you’re preaching to the choir”, feel free to skip the rest of this paragraph and the next one.  After that, I promise, I’ll be talking about the actual stationary).

Unless you’re reading this from outside of the U.S., or you’ve been living in a cave for the last few years, you’re probably aware of the fact that the U.S. has some pretty unfair and inconsistent laws regarding marriage.  On the whole, marrying someone who is your same-sex in the United States is either banned in most States or recognized as a union, but not recognized as “marriage” in others.  Whether or not individual states allow or recognize same-sex marriages or unions is still a major issue in contemporary politics and elections and is one of the main issues that divides people in this country politically.   The most recent display of this kind of political injustice was this November’s passing of Proposition 8 by the state of California which banned same-sex marriages in the state despite a Supreme Court ruling on May 15th of this year that stated “the right to marry in California extends equally to all, gay and straight alike…”.  Personally, I find California’s contradictory behavior on this issue as well as the majority of the country’s lack of acceptance a little appalling.  Personally I think you should be able to marry whomever you want because you’re in love with them and want to spend your life with them, regardless of who they are or what gender they happen to be.  I feel much the same way about same-sex marriage as I do about the abortion issue: simply put, if you don’t agree with same-sex marriage (or abortion), then don’t have one.  That doesn’t give you the right, however to tell others they can’t if the decision is right for them.  I think in general marriage is a wonderful gesture, but the fact that it isn’t extended equally to everyone in this country is pretty sad.  Valerie wrote about these issues briefly in correlation with why she and Rebecca chose to get married on her website far more eloquently than I ever could.  She writes: 

“There are a lot of things about marriage that we don’t like, particularly the way marriage excludes some couples and elevates the state of coupledom above all other relationships, but we knew that we wanted to make this commitment to each other, before our friends and family. It is not the right choice for everyone, but it is for us. That’s why we’re recreating marriage for ourselves. Not to say we’re better than other couples because we threw a big party, but because we’re leaping off a cliff together and we want the other people we love (because we also don’t want to cut off all ties from everyone else just because we’re getting married) to be there to catch us.”

I think for the majority of people out there, gay or straight, this is what marriage is about or what it should be about.  I don’t believe that one couple is “better” or more “real” than another because of the gender or genders of the people in it and because of this and the fact that they are a wonderful couple to begin with, I was delighted to work with Valerie and Rebecca on their wedding stationary.

One of my favorite things about working with any couple on their wedding stationary is that you really get to learn about who the couple is – both as individuals and as a unit.  Valerie is a poet and creative writer receiving her MFA from Florida State University and she and Rebecca fell in love at a music festival under an oak tree in Michigan.  They’re favorite colors are orange and green. They wanted to incorporate some of these aspects of their personalities and their story into their wedding stationary – which makes the creative designer part of my job really fun.  We came up with several different designs incorporating botanical elements, oak-themed elements, poetry and literary elements into the designs and this is the one V&R decided on:
Above you can see a picture of the whole stationary suite.  It included an A7 size invitation, A2 size reception card, a 4bar reply card, 2 sets of invitation envelopes, folded 4bar thank you cards and thank you card envelopes.  All of their stationary was printed with three colors: chocolate brown, light green and orange and the four main pieces all feature an oak tree with scattered oak leaves, referencing the place V&R first fell in love.  To incorporate a bit of the literary element into this we chose Garamond as the main font for the stationary, which is the same font Valerie uses for all of her poetry.  We then chose a more whimsical, contemporary font printed in orange for select elements on all of the pieces, like names and dates, etc.  The second photo above is of the invitation itself with the two different envelope colors.  Both of these are outer envelopes that were lined with a white paper – we ended up doing half of one color and half of the other rather than doing an inner and outer envelope.    Below is a close up of part of the invitation so you can see the small details on all of the oak leaves and the different fonts:

The reception card and reply card had a similar layout to the invite and featured the same elements for continuity, but were different sizes.  You can see pictures of these two cards separately below as well as the invite, reception and reply cards all stacked up together.  Notice on the reply card that the format is fairly different from others that I’ve done.  V&R are having their guests RSVP on their website rather than sending the card back because they’re moving in between when they mail out their invites and the actual wedding.  This is a great idea, in my opinion, for couples who are in a similar situation (yay for modern technology!).  

The last part of Valerie and Rebecca’s suite was an oak tree thank you card with a coordinating green envelope for after the ceremony.  Check it out here:  
I really love how this set of stationary turned out.  The design and colors were really fun, the couple was wonderful to work with an
d the printing turned out beautifully.  I especially love how all of the little elements in the stationary really reflect the story and personalities of Valerie and Rebecca.  Valerie was pretty excited about it too.  If you’d like to read what she had to say about the stationary and about working with me and Twin Ravens Press, you can read it on her blog
here.  Congratulations Valerie & Rebecca!  You two are awesome! 


I’m proud to say that I dropped off my ballot for the upcoming November 4th election this morning.  If you live in Oregon you will probably be receiving your ballot by mail this week if you haven’t received it already.  With one of the most important elections of our time (in my opinion) occurring only 16 days away, I would encourage you to educate yourself about the issues if you haven’t already, and then have your say about what the next four years are going to be like in this country, by voting.  
Normally, I intend to keep my personal opinions about everything other than letterpress and graphic design off of this blog, but in this case I feel I can make an exception.  This month I created 250 of the cards you see pictured below in support of the Obama campaign.  Each card is approximately 4″ x 5″ and was printed in three ink colors (red, blue and black) on Crane Lettra’s Bright White 100% cotton letterpress paper. Each card features the following quote from one of Obama’s campaign speeches: 

“Hope is what led a band of colonists to rise up against an empire; what led the greatest of generations to free a continent and heal a nation; what led young men and women to sit at lunch counters and brave fire hoses and march through Selma and Montgomery for freedom’s cause.  Hope is the bedrock of this nation; the belief that our destiny will not be written for us, but by us; by all those men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is; who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.” Barack Obama, January 3, 2008

I sent 155 of these cards off to the Amalgamated Printer’s Association for inclusion in their monthly mailing and I gave several out to family, friends, neighbors, etc.  I have approximately 50 left, if you would like one for your very own, please contact me and I would love to send one to you (while they last).  
I hope as a country we can come together and make better decisions for ourselves than we did the past eight years, because making the wrong decision in this election would only cause us 4-8 more years of the same failed politics that we’re dealing with now.  If you need more convincing that voting for change is the way to go, watch this video: 
Seriously.  Think about it.  Happy Voting!!